Flows of Form - Forms of Flow
How can we shape a shared future for design while taking the past into account? This is the question that Kossi Aguessy asks and that serves as the basis for the Museum für Völkerkunde’s current exhibition, on view through August 19. While the models used in pop culture to invent the future are invariably Eurocentric, Aguessy wonders if non-Western arts might, using their own cultural heritage and aesthetics as a starting point, revolutionize the question of design that is so central today, especially amid increasing awareness that design draws upon everything that constitutes our environment. The exhibition elucidates the history of this context by considering its constituents from a fresh and hitherto unexplored perspective, notably in the fi rst section of the show that juxtaposes early twentieth-century African objects with European design pieces. Flow of Forms goes beyond objects to investigate and reflect on the impact that a new history can have on social for political change in communities, especially those of rural Africa.
After a long journey during which it was seen in venues around the world—from Bogotá to several venues in China—the Bowers Museum’s special exhibition featuring selections from its Native American collection will finally be on view in its own facility from April 7 until August 19, 2018. "First Americans: Tribal Art from North America" includes artwork representative of native peoples from the Arctic North, the Northwest Coast, California, the Southwest, and the Great Plains. Highlights include what may be the earliest example of a transitional Navajo First Phase chief‘s blanket, a particularly early and fine Hopi katsina doll, a rare Seri feathered kilt from Baja California, a Lakota eagle feather headdress, and a Tlingit oystercatcher rattle.
Coiling Culture: Basketry Art of Native North America
Baskets were one of the first art forms in the Americas, with basket fragments found in California and the Southwest dating to 9,400 years ago. Over the millennia, native North Americans developed elaborate techniques and intricate designs worked in local materials, from sweetgrass in Florida to black ash in the Northeast and deer grass in California, among many others. These materials were sacred to their makers and those who used these special containers. So too was the way each was made with coiling, especially poignant, symbolizing for many groups the path of human emergence from inside earth and the movement of the spirits between realms. This display in the Art of the Americas' galleries explores the intersection between material, making, and meaning in the fragile basketry art of the Southeast to the Southwest and up into the Arctic.
Island Africa in Ramatuelle
Once again this summer, this charming village on the St. Tropez peninsula will be home to an exhibition organized by the Galerie Afrique. From June 1 until August 31, 2018, aficionados who have set sail for Provence to enjoy a relaxing and sunny holiday will also have the opportunity to explore the artistic traditions of the peoples of several African islands, such as the Bissago Islands, a group of islets dotting the Niger River Delta, and the majestic “Red Island,” as Madagascar is sometimes called.
AfricaMuseum at Egmont Palace
Before the reopening of the Royal Museum of Central Africa (now called AfricaMuseum) on December 8, the museum is organising a last exhibition "out of it's walls" at the Egmont Palace in Brussels. The exhibition: "AfricaMuseum @ Egmont Palace" will bring together objects from the museum's collection in dialogue with contemporary art. Among the artists represented will be Sammy Baloji, Chéri Chérin, Iviart Izamba Zi Kianda, Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, Pauline M'barek, Aimé Mpane, Voania Muba, Aimé Ntakiyica, Chéri Samba, Sarah Vanagt and Maarten Vanden Eynde. This exhibition presented in the a temple of diplomacy - "The Palace of Egmont" - is an opportunity to give an overview of the new approach of the museum and to open a dialogue. More details are available on the following website: https://diplomatie.belgium.be/fr/artategmontpalace
The Náprstek Museum in Prague is holding an exhibition devoted to the indigenous peoples of the Americas. "Indians" brings together objects collected by Czech explorers and researchers, supported by large-scale photographs and audio and video clips. The show’s first section acquaints visitors with North America through displays focusing on the buffalo hunt of the Great Plains, the geometric pottery designs and the secret ceremonies of the Pueblos, Navajo jewelry, and the hunter-gatherer culture of the Iroquois. Also included here are Inuit objects, including their signature kayaks, igloos, and hooded parkas. The show’s second part is devoted to the past and present cultures of South America. It examines the road to El Dorado, the mythical land imagined by the European conquistadors, and the very real discoveries of archaeological sites in the Andes and at Lake Guatavita. Included is a recreation of the coronation of a new leader. Indians expounds upon the history, lives, and spiritual practices of the native peoples of two American continents. More info on: www.nm.cz.
In this exhibition, the Musée des Confluences in Lyon is offering a fresh look at its anthropological and natural history collections. This is a rare opportunity to travel through time to see how those collections were formed and how they have contributed to scientific research. The exhibition opens with the eighteenth century, a time when, within the contexts of exploration and colonization, objects from around the world developed scientific relevance. Explorers of all kinds collected innumerable objects from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. Masks, items of clothing, weapons, utilitarian objects, and items intended for ritual use began to be used to document hitherto unknown lands. Private collectors and dealers in antiques and natural history specimens became important sources and donors for the museum. Ultimately, the intent of the exhibition is to explore what the museum holdings are today and what the patrimony of the future will be.
World on the Horizon
Located at the crossroads of Africa and the Indian Ocean, the Swahili coast has been a vibrant arena of global cultural convergence for more than a millennium. Peoples from the Arabian Peninsula, Asia, Africa, and Europe have long journeyed across the Indian Ocean in many directions, and on the coast of East Africa this confl uence of peoples gave rise to many diverse communities that are often called “Swahili,” after the Arabic word meaning “edge” or “coast.” Swahili coast artworks have been shaped by these complex migrations, the formation of new empires, and the making and unmaking of communities and social identities. World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean, an exhibition developed by the Krannert Museum of Art and now at the National Museum of African Art, explores Swahili arts as objects of mobility, outcomes of encounter, and as products of trade and imperialism. Works from different regions and time periods come together in this exhibition to reveal the movement of artistic forms, motifs, and preferences and to reflect the changing meanings they may carry during the course of their life histories. World on the Horizon can be seen at the Smithsonian until September 3, 2018, after which it will be at the Fowler Museum at UCLA.
Ritual Figures in Congo
African art is set to conquer China, and Congolese ritual art leads the charge. The Ritual Figures in Congo exhibition, which has already been produced as a catalog, will be shown for the fi rst time at the Three Gorges Museum from June 8 until September 9, 2018. This is just the fi rst stop of a tour that will take it to the Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan, the Guilin Museum in Guangxi Province, the Guangzhou Museum in Canton, and fi nally the Tsinghua University Museum in Beijing. This will be the first exhibition in China devoted entirely to the ritual statuary of the Congo, and it will feature nearly 120 wooden sculptures, some well known and others not, dating from between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries.
New Caledonian Trajectories
The Musée Anne-de-Beaujeu is presenting some 100 objects selected from its non-European art collection. Including artworks never before exhibited, as well as others borrowed from prestigious institutions such as the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac and the Musée des Confluences, "Trajectoires Kanak. Histoires de voyages en Nouvelle-Calédonie" (Kanak Trajectories: Histories of Voyages in New Caledonia) explores three events in New Caledonian history. The first is the story of French colonist Léon Moncelon, who moved to New Caledonia with his family in 1873. This is followed by that of Pierre Poyti, a mixed-blood New Caledonian, who was raised in France, and, finally, by that of the New Caledonian chief Poindi-Patchili, who resisted European settlement of his territory. A group of thirty-six New Caledonian weapons, including paddles, clubs, spear throwers, and clubs that Moncelon collected and gave to the museum is presented along with artifacts associated with Poindi-Patchili. These objects lend insight into the figures on the New Caledonian scene in the late nineteenth century—the autochthonous people, the colonials, the missionaries, and the scientists. The exhibition also sheds light on the expeditions into the region and describes the environment, ritual universe, and ornaments of the New Caledonian people. More info on: http://musees.allier.fr.